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51 years and counting

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 28, 2014

Today is the anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech. And much as its most famous lines echo today, the speech also resonates in problems we still face -- in the events in Ferguson in particular and the hate-mongering and racial conflict in society generally. And that makes it worth revisiting another passage from King's speech:

We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of Now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's children.

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro's legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality.

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